Posts Tagged ‘family’

At the time this post is being published, it is the American holiday of Thanksgiving. Despite the holiday’s questionable origins (a discussion not for this blog), this is a holiday for being thankful for all you have. And while a lot of us are surprised by how fast this year has gone by (seriously, how the hell is it already late November?), for many of us it has been a stellar year. I know that’s the case for me. I’ve got plenty to be thankful for this year.

And if it’s not too much trouble, I’ll run down some of those things I’m grateful for (I swear, this won’t be too long, and I’ll try not to turn it into bragging):

  • I’ve published two stories, the sci-fi novelette Gynoid and the fantasy romance short story What Happened Saturday Night, on Wattpad, and both were very well received. I also wrote half of the novel Full Circle, edited the entirety of Rose (and will probably edit it again, as soon as I have feedback from both my beta readers), made good progress on a new story, and had more ideas for other stories than I could ever write.
  • While I work on my writing, I also have a good job that allows me to do really rewarding work with a great team. That job also has great pay and benefits, so I can afford to pay my rent and my bills, never go hungry, and even put away some cash into savings. And every now and then, I can even afford a little splurge for things like wall art, a new addition to my doll/figurine collection, or even awesome shows (heck, sometimes the job gets me discount to awesome entertainment in town).
  • Speaking of rent, I have a great apartment in a good area near where I work. I can afford to live on my own, and do what I want within my apartment, so I don’t have to worry about anyone seeing me at my kookiest. And since I’ve lived here for nearly a year and a half, I’ve had time to settle in and make it my happy place, a great place to relax, be creative and occasionally entertain friends (Joleene Naylor knows what I’m talking about).
  • My health has improved greatly since the New Year. I’ve been eating healthier, cutting back on the sweets, and so have lost about thirty extra pounds. My back problems have also improved, thanks to the ongoing treatments of a really good chiropractor and my improved diet. I feel better than I have in ages, and as long as I keep things up, I’ll continue to get better (though I doubt I’ll ever be fit enough to be a prima ballerina or a bodybuilder).
  • I don’t have a driver’s license, but I’ve made incredible progress towards getting one. And with a bit more practice, especially with maneuverability and parking, I could have my license within the next year (though whether a car comes with that is another issue entirely).
  • I live close to my family, and we’re all on good terms for the most part (though I would not want to live with any of them again if I can help it). I also have plenty of friends, and I’m glad to have their love and friendship everyday. I know that if I need them, they will give me their support, and help me through another day.
  • Finally, I have you, my Followers of Fear. Over the six-plus years I’ve been blogging, you’ve stood by me, seen me at some of my best and worst moments, and posted your thoughts and encouragement, and even bought some of my published work. And over this past year, Rami Ungar the Writer has grown significantly, to the point where I’m less than fifty followers away from hitting the thousand follower milestone. It gives me such joy to write for and interact with you guys every day, and I hope I can continue to do so for ages to come.

Of course, this is just a fraction of the many things I’m thankful for, but I’m thankful for them all nonetheless. And I’m glad I’m aware of them and thankful for them, because I can think of a number of people who are just as lucky as me, or even luckier, and yet are miserable. They’re not satisfied with what they have and they constantly want more.

My mother and me when we went to see Swan Lake this past weekend. Not only was it an incredible show, but I got to experience it with someone I dearly love and who gets me on so many levels. I’m incredibly thankful for her and our relationship together. Also, I’m looking at the button on my phone camera, in case you’re wondering where my eyes are looking.

 

Now, there’s nothing wrong with wanting more than what you have. I want to expand my readership, write more stories, and get more of them published. Heck, I wouldn’t mind being able to write full-time if I could. But some people, they just don’t appreciate what they have. They could have a loving family, a big house (or several), a nice car (or several), and enough money for vacations abroad and fancy gadgets and whatever. But they aren’t happy. They want more. More stuff, more sexual partners, more fame and prestige. A friend once told me he talked to a man who was depressed because he didn’t receive as big a Christmas bonus as someone else in their office, even though he felt they did the same work and the same amount of work. Both bonuses were in the five-figure range, which boggled the both of us. How could anyone be in a position where that sort of money is given as a Christmas bonus and NOT be happy?

And that’s why I’m thankful for one more thing: I’m thankful that I can recognize what I have. Some people can only recognize what they don’t have, and that bites deeply into their happiness. They may feel good when they get a promotion or they bed someone deeply attractive or they get that new house on the Italian coast, but it’s only a temporary drug high, and the crash they feel after the high wears off just leaves them as empty as before. It’s not a true happiness, not at all.

And that’s why I’m grateful for one more thing: that I’m capable of recognizing all that I have and that I’m grateful for. Yeah, I’m not rich or famous (though I could be someday), but I’m glad for everything I have. I worked hard to get it, and I know it could be taken away all in an instant with one bad day. So when something new comes into my life–a new follower, some good news on the writing front, the chance to do something fun with friends or family, or even a new doll for my collection–that drug high will go away, but a good feeling will remain. I’m grateful for it all, and I hope I remain that way for the rest of my life.

So this Thanksgiving, my Followers of Fear, let’s all be grateful for what we have, and express that gratitude as best we can. Because we could have nothing at all, or we could have plenty and not realize it. I prefer to have some stuff, and be glad that I do have them. And if you ask me, that’s a good way to go about things.

Happy Thanksgiving, and until next time, pleasant nightmares.

Me being thankful for all that i have. And thank you, Sailor Moon, for constantly giving me so much to work with, from entertainment to story ideas to illustrative GIFs.

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It’s the truth: authors want their families to read their work.

Whether it’s our first book or our thirtieth or higher. Whether we’ve just published a blog post we wrote during our lunch break yesterday or a short story we’ve been working months on appearing in a prestigious magazine. There’s one thing all us authors want when this sort of thing happens: we want our folks to pay attention to it. Hell, we want our folks to buy at least one copy, drop everything else to read it, and then call us up to comment on it, tell us how much they loved it or hated it, and then go on Amazon or whatever site they got it from and write a (hopefully) three star or higher review.

This isn’t just narcissism on our part (though I’m sure that plays a big role in it). Authors like vindication, it’s one of the reasons we write and publish. And praise from our families on something we toil away at for hours and hours at a time is at the same time both something we kind of expect and something we desperately want. It’s a big deal for authors, no matter what the relationships between us and our families, that they take a look at our work and let us know what they think (and hopefully they actually like it and aren’t just saying it’s the most awesome thing ever to make us happy).

Sadly, that’s not always going to happen. My folks love me and I love them. Sure, occasionally we get on each other’s nerves and more than once I’ve fantasized about Daleks chasing them down the street (or was that my TA who keeps assigning extra work for our recitation class?). But yeah, we care pretty deeply about each other. Still, I know there are certain members of my family who won’t read my books, or won’t read them immediately. And I have to accept that.

The latter is pretty easy to explain: my folks are busy. Everyone above the age of 18 in my immediate family has a job of some sort. Plus my sister has schoolwork, my parents all have kids to still take care of, and bills to pay, and pets to take care of, and chores to do…basically, a lot on their plates. Eventually they get around to it, but until then I just have to be patient. Do I like it? No. But I know I can’t do anything to change it, so I wait and I let those members of my family get around to it in their own time. Eventually they get it done.

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For the former, it’s another matter entirely. Some of them just aren’t big readers. It isn’t how they relax in the evenings. And I won’t even pick that fight, so why even bother getting them to read it if I know it’s a losing battle? Others like to read, but they don’t enjoy anything with monsters. Or ghosts. Or murder. Or blood. Or missing limbs. Or the occasional hot and heavy sex scene. Or darkness. Or scares. In other words, what I write is the exact opposite of what they look for in a story. Well, you can try with these people, but I can’t guarantee it’ll work. For some, unless you’re writing comedy, romance, or a highfalutin coming-of-age literary novel, they just won’t read it.

Though if you still want a specific family member or friend to read your work, by all means go ahead and try. You can try by emphasizing to them the aspects of the story they would most likely enjoy (this worked with a friend of mine when I highlighted the romantic aspect of Snake). It’s better than cutting a deal with them or guilt-tripping them (though I think the latter worked for me one time).

And if that doesn’t work, don’t be too glum about it. There are always people out there willing to read your work. You just have to work hard and try to connect to them, wherever they may be. That’s part of the reason why I blog and post on Facebook and tweet and all that: because I know that by doing so it has the potential to open all sorts of doors. Maybe even allow me to find some people who would enjoy my work. You never know.

Does your family read your work?

How do you get your folks to read your work when it doesn’t necessarily appeal to them?

Oh, and if you’re wondering about the meme photos and where I got them, I made them. Yeah, I made them. I found this website that allows you to create your very own memes. It’s amazing! Now I can put hilarious memes in my stories whenever I want.

Oh dear. Maybe that’s not such a good thing after all…

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Between finishing the last post and getting out of the shower, I realized that there wasn’t enough time to watch a movie before bed (another time, perhaps). Which is why I decided to write this post, featuring my first review of The Quiet Game: Five Tales To Chill Your Bones. (If you’re interested in reading but don’t have the link, click here). It comes from one of my beta readers, and it was posted on her Facebook status. And by the way, this happens to be my mother.

Yes, I know your family is supposed to love everything you write, even if you have your character choking a baby (please don’t ever write anything as sick as that). But my mom’s a little different. For starters, my mother was the one who got me into Anne Rice and Stephen King. Yes, she did. Originally a fan of the two authors, she’s the one who lent me Interview with the Vampire and told me to read Stephen King when I’d read several Anne Rice books. She’s also lent me other books and turned me onto other writers like Dean Koontz and Dan Brown. She also introduced me to Buffy the Vampire Slayer and The X-Files, shows which had a profound influence on me and my writing.

So even though she’s family and even though my mother doesn’t get the same sort of thrills I do from horror movies (I feel delightfully terrified while she’s just terrified), she’s definitely helped in molding me into the writer I am. Which was why I was very delighted when I called her and she told me she was about one short story into the book. And later when I logged onto Facebook, I was greeted with my first review. What did Rabbi Wendy Warren Ungar have to say? Why this:

“Reading Rami’s new book of short stories that was just published, (shameless promotion here), and I’ve discovered that my son is yet another author I can’t read at night!”

If you haven’t noticed, the subtitle on this blog is “Scared yet? My job here is done.” Well folks, my job here is done. Because I’ve always dreamed of giving someone a fright with my writing, and hearing that my mother can’t read my work at night gives me a small sense of accomplishment. I like knowing that I can deliver the goods when I say my stories are scary, and I like knowing I’m getting the sort of reactions I’d hoped for.

So Mom, thanks for reviewing and shamelessly promoting and all that. It means a lot to me and I hope to make even better stories as time goes on.

I also hope to post more reviews for The Quiet Game as they come. I know some friends have said they’ll write a review when they’re done, so I’m sure those reviews will show up in the next couple of weeks. Until then I hope you enjoy reading The Quiet Game as much as I enjoyed writing it, putting it together, and sending it out to you.

Good night everybody!